Sunday, 13 July 2014

Game 12 - Warriors of Chaos - (2012/02/07)

CanCon 2012 - Battle 6 - Battle Line

Tournament battle number 6, the last battle of day 2. In this game I faced yet another Warriors of Chaos army. This time, however, it was MSU force and it was a fantastic display of "300" theme incorporated into fantasy army. Sean (aka Nasher) who led this magnificent force to battle is a very experienced player and ETC veteran so I knew it was going to be a great game and a challenge for me! Funny enough I talked to Sean before when I noticed his Slaaneshi Spartans and commented I would like to face his army on the battlefield very much! Here we go then! A wish came true! :)

Battle line has been my favorite scenario so far (although I have fun with other too!) as it gave me an opportunity to use deployment advantage and I had space to outflank and outpace my enemy. This time this advantage was canceled out for me. It was very difficult to predict which unit would go where and although in theory there were some favorable targets it didn't mean it would be easy to get to them and even then it might not be that easy to defeat these regiments. Let's have a look at the Warriors of Chaos army list then

Warriors of Chaos - Army List

Sorcerer Lord, Level 4, Chaos Armour, Barded Chaos Steed, Infernal Puppet, Necrotic Phylactery, Charmed Shield, Biting Blade - Lore of Death
Exalted Hero BSB, Mark of Slaanesh, Halberd, Chaos Armour, Barded Chaos Steed, Dragonhelm

16 Chaos Warriors, Mark of Slaanesh, Halberd, Standard, Musician, Banner of the Eternal Flame
38 Chaos Marauders, Mark of Slaanesh, Great Weapon, Standard, Musician
38 Chaos Marauders, Mark of Slaanesh, Great Weapon, Standard, Musician
5 Chaos Warhounds
5 Chaos Warhounds
5 Chaos Warhounds
5 Marauder Horsemen
, Musician
6 Marauder Horsemen, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician, shields
5 Chaos Knights, Mark of Slaanesh,Musician
5 Chaos Knights, Mark of Slaanesh,Musician
5 Chaos Knights, Mark of Slaanesh,Musician
Chaos Chariot
Chaos Chariot

To be honest I didn't have a good plan how to put up a proper fight against this army but I remembered that in general Sean might need more space to deploy it so I wanted to use it and put more units on one flank. It still will require some exchange, bait and flee or even straight brutal fight but I thought this approach might give me a chance to break through the flank and get some breathing space. I had a slight advantage in magic (or so I thought) and if I rolled good spells I might actually have an additional tool to deal with marauder hordes.

Outcasts - Army List

Archibald the Archmage, Level 4, Annulian Crystal, Dragon Bane Gem - High Magic
Bob the BSB, Dragon Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Radiant Gem of Hoeth - High Magic

20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard,
20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician

10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 White Lions, Musician
9 Swordmasters, Blademaster with Amulet of Light, Musician
8 Swordmasters, Musician
8 Swordmasters, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears

Great Eagle
Great Eagle


I think Chaos Lord had following spells (from fading memory): Spirit Leech, The Caress of Laniph, Soulblight and The Fate of Bjuna
Elven BSB - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery
Archmage - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Courage of Aenarion, Flames of the Phoenix, Vaul's Unmaking


Close up on "300"

Elven MSU vs. WoC MSU

I kind of refused Western flank with only 2 units to protect it from chaos regiments. I thought I could try and get to fight there as Sean had many light units I would be able to win against. But he also had some tough knights there and even Swordmasters might have a problem with getting through their armor. But then they would not be able to fight elsewhere and that was a good thing.

On the East I felt choked by these two massive horde units. I might have a chance to break through one of them with a help of Flames of the Phoenix but there would be blood anyway. Sean won the roll off and moved first.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 1

Steady advance of the Warriors of Chaos

Chaos army re-arranges its formation on the West

Chaos army approached elven lines with confidence. The regiments marched towards the enemy, not yet in the charge distance. In the center Chaos Knights rushed forward to block Ellyrian Reavers while on the West some re-arrangement took place. 4 light units and single Chaos Knights regiments were sent against Dragon Princes and Swordmasters while one Chaos Knights unit wheeled to support the center. Then Chaos Sorcerer attempted to summon enough magical power but his efforts were dispelled by elven Archmage.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Elven response

Elven army does not remain static either

Elves move forward too with some baiting units slightly exposed. On the East Dragon Princes and Swordmasters create single line and that is mirrored on the West. White Lions too form a single line while Spearelves protecting the Archmage move backwards a little. Finally, reavers bait chariots to charge them an one eagle blocks the chaos knights from further advance. Behind the bird of prey Swordmasters and Spearelves prepare to counter-attack.

Archers open fire at Marauder horde and even if they killed some it was not yet making much of a difference. On the other hand, Chaos Sorcerer was a little surprised to find out a harmless teddy bear attached to his belt instead of dreaded infernal puppet.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 2

Chaos units attack early!

Deadly chariot charge

Chaos army kept advancing but Chariots moved in for the kill. The one on the East could not catch swift reavers who performed their feigned flight but the one in the center reached White Lions with BSB. Swift elves didn't fear crude machine and its usually deadly impacts did not do much damage. But when elves closed in for the kill disaster struck as the crew singled out elven BSB and despite the best efforts of his bodyguards he was slain. Such was shock and despair of white lions who failed in their duty that they broke from combat and were mercilessly run down by the chaos chariot. High Elves not only lost their banner but there was now huge gap in their formation and the enemy was behind them.

Chaos Knights in the center caught great eagle but didn't kill it yet being more amused by inflicting pain in a slow manner, as is typical for sadistic Slaaneshi followers. Then on the West Knights and their loyal hounds moved very close to the elven units not giving them a simple choice - attack or be attacked.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Panic in the center spreads

Elves attempt to counter-attack with magic (EDIT: I have just noticed that the eagle behind the forest was not moved in the diagram, while in the game it moved out of sight of the chariot, sorry!)

On the West elves charge without hesitation. Swordmasters cut through warhounds in no time but Dragon Princes cannot hit hard enough to break through the chaos armor and even lose two of their number in counter-attack. However they hold as they know Swordmasters are going to help them soon.

On the East second unit of Dragon Princes attempts to charge the chariot but cannot gain momentum and their charge fails. Swordmasters nearby line up to receive expected Marauder charge.

In the center Chaos Knights release badly wounded eagle and that confuses nearby Spearelves and Swordmasters who elect to flee from the enemy. Seeing all this elven Archmage decided to slow down an approach of chaos hordes and marauders on the East are engulfed in flames in an instant. Such is the power of divine flames that more than half of the unit is turned into ashes.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 3

Chaos army presses forward

On the East Chaos BSB charges away from the marauders and attacks Dragon Princes alone, who lose combat but hold. Next to them, Swordmasters are the target of the attack of the second chariot but warriors of Hoeth make a very short work of it and destroy it utterly.

Chaos Knights in the center force Swordmasters to flee the battle while Great Eagle is very close to run away too. On the West cavalry duel ends up in a stalemate.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves secure Eastern flank but the center collapses

Break through on the Eastern flank - sort of

Swordmaster on the East charge still burning Marauders but the flames stop just before the elven warriors hit the few survivors of the inferno and slay them, ending their suffering. White Lions hunt down warhounds and that lets them move away from the second unit of marauders who quickly find themselves in similar trouble as their brethren in the first unit. And again more than half of their numbers perish in flames.

Meanwhile Dragon Princes fighting chaos BSB lose heart and flee, despite protective aura of courage of Aenarion, as Spearelves are too late to offer some help. In order to cover their back Reavers block the chariot and archers sacrifice themselves to buy time for second unit of Spearelves to rally.

On the West Swordmasters hit the flank of Chaos Knights but only one of them falls down while all Dragon Princes are killed. This combat is still not fully resolved.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 4

Some units try to re-arrange the lines to continue the fight

Chaos regiments exploit the breach of elven lines in the center

Depleted marauder unit charges lone eagle but they too elect not to kill the bird just yet. Warriors and Knights utterly destroy Archers and while Warriors reform, Knights overrun into great eagle. Chaos chariot charges light cavalry and single survivor holds his ground.

On the West the deadly combat between elite warriors of both armies continues. And yet again only one Knight falls down but Swordmasters do not give up.

Winds of magic are extremely low and sensing that he cannot summon enough power to cease the fire eating marauders horde, chaos sorcerer tries unsuccessfully to cast one of his spells instead.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Re-arranging formation on the West

Knights and Warriors dominate the center

Elven regiments on the East form a new battle line. Unfortunately the center collapses and on the West Swordmasters manage to kill another Chaos Knight but their numbers melt quickly too. All but two marauders die in flames and they are then finished by great eagle.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 5

Eastern Front

Chaos Knights

Knight and Warriors vs. Spears. Marauder Horseman aka Slaaneshi Spartans

Chaos army gains upper hand

On the West Marauder Horseman attack to help the knights. Two of the marauders die and one Knight is killed too but all Swordmasters finally perish.

Chaos Warriors and their Knightly companions both attack Spears who still hold. Third regiment of Knights finishes off badly wounded eagle while chaos chariot destroyed itself in the attempt to charge out of the forest. Finally, chaos BSB charges Archers but they are protected by Shield of Saphery and hold.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Last act

White Lions and Swordmaster try to charge Chaos Knights but they do not give them that chance and flee. Spearelves cannot hold this time and are run down. Elven mage casts shield of saphery on archers to save at least that regiment but is sucked to realm of chaos for his effort killing half of his Spearelves.

It is clear then that High Elves lost this battle against forces of evil.

After-battle thoughts

That was a fantastic battle against a great opponent! Despite the fact I lost I really enjoyed the game and it was a great pleasure to play against Sean and his very unique army. My pictures from the battle do not give that army full credit as it was a very interesting idea and very well executed project.

I have made some crucial mistakes and Sean, being an experienced player, used them against me perfectly. That was indeed a good lesson, also in the use of MSU army. Saying that we both had our moments of good and not-so-good rolls. I was delighted with my magic but chaos armor of Sean's knights was simply impossible to pass through. I had some bad luck in rolling to wound his chariot (hence the loss of the BSB) but his impact hits were almost non-existent. In general then I think we had equal share of lucky and unlucky rolls that added some dramatics to the game but in the end Sean is a better player and this time he got me. :)

Let's have a look at some crucial points of the game from my point of view:

1. Deployment - I am sure it could have been better but I am still wondering in what way exactly. Suggestions? My initial thought is that I could deploy all cavalry on the Western flank and maybe add Swordmasters too and then try to play a cavalry clash there.

2. White Lions and BSB - this one is not easy to decide on. On one hand Sean rolled poorly on impact hits and I made way with BSB to have enough attacks to destroy the chariot. But I didn't wound it enough and I think Sean even rolled a 6 for save too. I didn't take that into account and I lost BSB. Also failed stubborn break test was bad. I could played safe and:

A - leave BSB in another unit
B - do not move him to fight

3. Swordmaster charging Marauders - that was stupid. They were not a threat and I should have used the fact chaos BSB killed only one DP and flank charge him. I also had a Courage of Aenarion on this turn (which DP simply ignored with their double 6's break test :)) and good chance to even kill that character on the charge. I really don't know what I was thinking here :(

4. Panic tests in the center - that was completely unexpected. First the Knights didn't kill the eagle and next turn when I had units close by they broke the bird and both units failed panic tests. Lesson? Keep your units 6.5" away from combats :)

5. Swordmasters vs. Knights - what can I say? The knights are tough. I could not harm them with DP on the charge. They held long enough but then I could not harm them even then! In the end I should have still directed all the attacks against Knights. That was the last chance to kill the unit and get some points.

6. Archmage and IF - that didn't change the result much (it would be 6-14 instead 5-15) but if you combine that with ho may points I gave away with BSB and his Lions together that makes the whole game as close to draw as possible. Or at least I like to think so :)

Sean, Congratulations! It was well deserved win and I just wish I was more demanding opponent :) It would be great if you could add some comments from your point of view too! I am looking forward to meeting you on the battlefield again! :)

Thanks for reading!

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